How to change XBOX Live Gamertag without XBOX console?

RE: Please see this thread at Microsoft Community: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-gaming/windows-8-xbox-live-games-gamertag-change/2d6ae0e3-44be-41b3-80c1-1328bf6f06ca

You cannot play Microsoft Solitaire or Minesweeper, you need a XBOX Gamertag. It will be automatically generated for you, Windows user cannot select it by him/herself. To change the gamertag is possibly only from XBOX, which I do not own nor will I get one, or from inside a game running on Games on Windows LIVE platform which Microsoft recently shut down.

My question: is it really true that a Windows 8 user needs to buy an extra XBOX just to be able to fully utilize the XBOX Live account?

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Question Info


Last updated July 5, 2018 Views 86 Applies to:

Hey there Touristic,

I'm really sorry to hear you're having issues changing your Gamertag.

In response to your main question, yes, the two options to change your GT are via console or the Games for Windows Live service. I can completely understand where you're coming from an I agree that this is not ideal for your circumstances.

I would recommend making a post in our Live Wishlist/Feedback forums with your discussion to help ensure that the right eyes see it. As a current workaround, if you have a friend who owns a console or uses Games for Windows Live, you can change your GT by signing in to their console or client. 


You are correct that the GfWL marketplace has been discontinued but you can still access the Games for Windows Live client so that you can play and download any games you already own. I believe that you have to be playing a game in GfWL to change your GT there but I would make a post in our Games for Windows Live forums for clarification on that. Our PC gurus may have a workaround for you there.

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I will not give access to my account to my nieces and nephews back at my native Finland, not even for a minute so that they could log in to my account and change my Windows 8 Games gamertag using their Xbox. I preach security, that I will never do. In no circumstances gets anyone my credentials.

Back here in my ex-pat German living, I will not go to a retailer, ask them to show me an Xbox which is online and use it. I am a Windows 8 user and I want to change my Windows 8 Games (also called as Xbox Games) gamertag using one of my 8 Windows 8 machines.

As I have told earlier, I can download and install Games for Windows Live client but it is useless in my case as I do not have any games to install to it in order to be able to change to gamertag from inside a game. As you certainly know, it is also impossible to download and install new games to that client as Microsoft has shut down the service.

Again, here's how I see this: As a Windows 8 & Windows 8 Games user I want to decide which usernames I use, both on Windows and Windows Games. Even if I now went and bought an Xbox console only for this username (gamertag) change, you have told me it would be too late because when I installed my first Windows 8 beta (preview) version mid 2011 and launched the Games app first time, the gamertag was without my knowledge automatically created already then and now you keep telling me it's only possible to change during the first 90 days. Please notice that Windows 8 documentation does not tell anything about this, about that the user cannot use any username he/she wants nor that if you start really using the Games app only after 90 days of first installing your Windows 8 and browsing through your new apps it's too late anyway.

About this system of yours, have you really thought of it? Let me ask you a couple of questions:

1. How many other online services you know where the user cannot select his / her own username (as long as it is in accordance with site / service rules)?

2. How many free, native and built-in services for Mac and Linux you know where a simple change in settings requires the user to buy additional hardware? (RE: Windows 8 Games App gamertag only possible to change using Xbox console, now when Games for Windows is shut down.)

3. Why do you think it is important that the users cannot select their own usernames? For heaven's sake, I can change my Microsoft Outlook.com email account or create a new alias as I wish but your simple gaming system requires that YOU select the username and make it extremely difficult for a user to change it.

A geek 9 to 5, just a nerd rest of the time.

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This whole situation, need to use the gamertag and change it arose first over a year after I installed my first Windows 8 preview (beta) version and created an outlook.com Microsoft account, launched the Windows 8 Games app first time and got the automatically generated gamertag.

This sucks.  What next? Microsoft makes Windows 8 to use automatically generated usernames without an option to change them?

A geek 9 to 5, just a nerd rest of the time.

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Quote:

"You are correct that the GfWL marketplace has been discontinued but you can still access the Games for Windows Live client so that you can play and download any games you already own."

Thanks but it's a no go.I do not own any Windows Live games, nor does the client let me install new ones (screenshot: http://sdrv.ms/1hbDM3J).

It really looks that the official support does not even know the products they are supposed to support. If you checked the thread at Microsoft Community  (link in my first post) and the chat transcript there, your Xbox support didn't even know about shutting down of the Games for Windows Marketplace but kept pushing me there. I had to tell them it's closed, by their employer. Repeatedly.

Windows 8 Games app is named "Xbox Games". In order to use it, a Windows 8 user needs an Xbox Live Account. It's quite disturbing that a Windows 8 user who don't even want an Xbox is forced to get one in order to change the settings of the user account required to use a built-in Windows 8 app and play native Microsoft Windows games on Windows.

Most disturbing, an indicator of the level of this "support" is what the official support gives as a solution: Find a retailer who let's you to use their showcase Xbox, log in, go online and change the gamertag.

Is it really true that no one there at MS / Xbox can't see how ridiculous this is?

A geek 9 to 5, just a nerd rest of the time.

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Hey there Touristic!

Sorry for the delay in reply here, we were bubbling this up to the correct people to get this looked at. I'm sorry to hear that we're not able to get this resolved right now, but please know that it's in the hands of the right people now. Thank you for bringing this situation to our attention.

I know it's not an ideal answer, but if you get access to a console or a Games for Windows Live client, let us know if you have any questions on how to change it on one of those.

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Hey again Touristic! I can certainly understand that this could be a frustrating situation.

I assure you that this matter is being looked into by the correct people. Thanks again for bringing this to our attention so that we can work to create a better experience. =)

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Hello again Touristic,

Apologies for the delayed response. I can definitely understand where you're coming from and I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.

A small correction to my earlier statement. There are currently 3 ways that you can change your Gamertag.

  1. Using an Xbox 360 console
  2. Through the Games for Windows Live client when you are playing a game
  3. Via xbox.com if you click My Account in the top right corner and go to Settings and Preferences there will be an option to Change Gamertag
    1. This will give you the option to use your 1 free GT change for an auto-generated Gamertag if you are within 90 days of activation.
    2. However, if you are beyond this time frame you will not have access to that option



As you have already stated that the first two options do not work for you, I would recommend trying the third option. If none of those options work for you then I am sorry to have to say but there is not currently a way for you to change your auto-generated GT.

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